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Where I Stand

My summer poem project has given me a lot of joy… and it’s far from over. As I mentioned yesterday, I’m working on Summer Shorts, a project that combines my love of photography with my desire for poetry to be part of everyday life. Summer Shorts is writing a short poem a day, every day of summer (June 21 to September 21) based on the photo I take from the Capture Your 365 photo challenge.

I actually don’t write every day, but do take a photo every day. On days when I have extra time, I catch up, though often I find these poems practically write themselves during my walk, as words and lines come to me. I always carry a notebook, so I perch myself on a railing or park bench and capture those flighty thoughts mid-walk. Because I’ve promised myself these poems will be short, it’s not intimidating. Who can’t write 3 to 6 lines a day?

Most of the photo challenges are different each day. But a few keep recurring every month. One such is “Where I Stand.” Here’s my “Where I Stand” photo and poem for July 21st. (It happens to be the longest poem in the collection so far… a few over my required 6 lines.)

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#CY365 photo for July 21, 2017 –  “Where I Stand” (Photo © 2017 by V. Nesdoly)

Where I Stand

pat a dog,
photo the fog

pick a bloom,
pixel a room

chat with a friend
ponder the bend

follow my nose
to smell a rose

stop for a hare
hopping who knows where

admire the herd
find the lyric bird

be lured to tarry
and munch on a berry

my motto for a summer walk:
“Always be prepared to stop!”

© 2017 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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poetryfridayThis post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by our very talented troubadour Donna at Mainely Write.

 

 
24 Comments

Posted by on August 4, 2017 in Nature, Poetry Friday

 

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Just an ordinary walk


In the last few weeks my walking partner, dear hubby, has been finding it more and more painful to walk. Then the doctor told him, no more long walks until you’re better. So for now I am walking on my own.

When I took solitary walks in the past I experienced a wonderful loosening of words and ideas. And it’s happening again, if I’m alert to it.

To help with that, I carry a little notebook and pen to write down words, turns of phrase, and images that I don’t want to forget. Or I hold them in my head. That’s what I did for the poem below. When I got home I free-wrote like crazy to capture everything in prose. Later I worked some of my ideas into …

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“I am a long skinny shadow now, walking down a golden street” (Photo © 2016 by V. Nesdoly)

Just an ordinary walk

On this cold morning I am soft wax
feeling intimidated by impatient cars
swishing, swooshing
swirling beside me.

One turns right in front
of my WALK light, almost clips my toes.
Even in moments of still, distant traffic hums
a far off siren screams.

City birds above me chirp, warble
sing their own bustle, swoop down (peck, peck),
flutter away. They are nonchalant, daring,
savvy to the rhythm of feet and tires (hop, hop).

My nose tests wind gusts, smells
gasoline, diesel, vanilla, a passerby’s peppery
perfume,  chocolate, cinnamon
(something good is baking at Safeway).

I am a long  skinny shadow now walking down a golden street
past a lady in a taupe coat with her silky dog in red
and a grey couple smoking on a bench.
They pull their Lhasa Apso close so I can pass.

I can’t find the book drop at the library.
The security guard points me to it’s green-light lips
“You scan it.” He shows me which bar-code
and the slot sucks the book from my hand.

As I turn toward home, the sun stares
into my eyes, brash. I shade them
with hands balled into gloves, fingers
squeezing warmth from palms.

A kid with a black-and-white backpack strides by
black arms bare under short black sleeves
black jeans, white shoes—so cool
but how can he not feel so cold?

I climb stairs, twist key in the lock—
happy to be home.
It was just an ordinary walk
but forever engraved in this poem.

© 2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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PF-2This post is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by the queen of poetic forms, Tricia at her blog Miss Rumphius Effect.

 
32 Comments

Posted by on October 21, 2016 in Objects, People, Personal, Poetry Friday, Writing

 

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ADMIRE (Out of Sight)

On March 2, 2014, two years ago yesterday, I broke my hip. I was away from home helping my daughter with her new baby at the time. I took a careless step on the stair, tripped, fell, and landed full force on the cement floor at just the right angle to do the damage. Two years ago today I had surgery to fix that hip.

Happily by now I’m well again and hardly feel any different than I did before the break. But on every anniversary since it’s happened I can’t help but remember that fateful day.

Recovery took so much longer than the accident! When we got home, two thirds through March, I walked with a walker, and then a cane. I used a device to help me put on my socks. For weeks I showered in my husband’s walk-in instead of my own tub shower because I couldn’t climb over the side.

For a long time walking was a limping business. I couldn’t think or will myself into a smooth gait, no matter how hard I tried. The simple walking action I had always done with no thought was revealed as complex. I began to ADMIRE the ability to walk smoothly and effortlessly, but even more admire the Creator of this ability.

ADMIRE, Julieanne Harmatz‘s one-little-word is the word we’re discussing today. It means to regard with wonder, pleasure, or approval. Some of its synonyms are wonder at, treasure, value, worship, think highly of, take pleasure in.

If you think of it, everything around us is fodder for admiration. The fact that I can think thoughts and coordinate brain and hand to make them visible; that I can eat yummy food and it gets changed into hair, skin, and blood; that we live on a planet that’s located in vast space at just the right distance from a star, our sun, with the exact conditions needed to sustain life… all these things and more are cause to wonder at, value, admire.

But my admiration doesn’t stand alone. It has an object—God, the Creator who designed, created and sustains these myriad of systems. Psalm 104 is an admirer’s poem, full of praise for the natural world. It might be called the admiration of worship. Here are its opening lines:

Psalm 104

Bless the Lord O my soul!
O Lord my God,
You are very great:
You are clothed with honor and majesty
Who cover Yourself with light as with a garment,
Who stretch out the heavens like a curtain… (read the rest…)

Back down to earth, during my convalescence I wrote some impressions of that time. Here I am, still limping along…

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My best friends during recovery – cane, picker, back-washer, shoe-horn, sock thingy, Kindle reader, and walker. (Photo © 2014 by V. Nesdoly)

Out of Sight

I never gave the walk-cycle a thought
considered all the moving parts
heel, foot, knee, hip
pretibial, calf, quadriceps, hamstring
bone, muscle, sinew
needed to move in sync like an orchestra
to form the ballet of a step
until I broke one part.

Now I’ve added another part—a cane
have begun doing scales, arpeggios, four-note chords
exercising thighs and knees
to help my body relearn
a smooth, unlimping gait.
The ability to walk
always before
out of sight
but now never
out of mind.

© 2014 by Violet Nesdoly

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Join us each week at Spiritual Journey Thursday

This post is linked to Spiritual Journey Thursday, hosted by Holly Mueller at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

 

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January sunrise

Pink clouds reflecting sunrise

Sunrise – January 21, 2015 (Photo © V. Nesdoly)

Walk in day’s first light
to a wild chorus of birds
sky grows more intense
surroundings come alive as
we stroll under milkshake clouds

© 2015 by V. Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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On clear days it’s so encouraging to see the sky begin to light up as early as 7:15. Spring is on the move!! This photo was taken on Wednesday, January  21st at 7:55 a.m..

We’re back into clouds and monsoons again now. But I console myself with how much longer the days will be when we next see early light under a clear sky. Our local weather lady said the days are getting longer by 2.5 minutes per day right now.

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2015 in Nature, Personal, Tanka

 

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The sun dreams palely down

Sun dreams palely down - poem & photo by V. Nesdoly

Click on image to enlarge

This is Thanksgiving Weekend in Canada and I should probably be posting an overtly thankful poem. Let this be its substitute, for it sings the praises of some of the things for which I am most thankful: the ability to walk, beautiful places to walk, someone to walk with, fall colours, fall mists, the Creator who has designed the cycling of the seasons and this most gorgeous one.

Poetry Friday LogoThis poem is linked to Poetry Friday, hosted today by Patricia Stohr-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2014 in Nature, Poetry Friday

 

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Walk the Beach

Beach collage

Beach Collage – Scenes from North Beach, Salt Spring Island, & China Beach, Vancouver Island B.C.

Walk the Beach

Set crickets flying
from crabby grass and weeds
shimmering on the sandy foreshore.

Hop logs of driftwood forest
clamber over algae-green rock
tricky as black ice.

Crunch broken shells
jingle the shingle
always at an angle.

Spring-step spongy
blackened sea grass
squish onion bulbs of kelp.

Take off shoes
let soles read
Braille of wave-print sand.

© 2014 by Violet Nesdoly (all rights reserved)

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I sometimes still pinch myself, prairie transplant that I am, that I live near the ocean and the beach! As residents of the B.C.’s southwest corner for 30+ years, we’ve often indulged our fascination with the ocean by vacationing near it. The photos above were taken in the summer of 2012 on Saltspring Island and Vancouver Island beaches.

Poetry Friday LogoThis post is part of Poetry Friday, hosted today by Carol and Carol’s Corner. (Thank you, Carol, for giving me the idea to post this poem with your beach poem!)

 
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Posted by on June 6, 2014 in Nature, Poetry Friday

 

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Houston Trail – Langley BC

mossy branch arcs over water

“…branches arc…”

Houston Trail – Langley BC

Peacock ferns, prehistoric, lush
draw us into the dim, cedar-canopied wood.
Uprooted trunks sprawl, branches arc,
snapped limbs leap in frozen pirouettes.
Slim apparitions forever grope, reach, grasp
a menagerie of many-appendaged moon monsters
sculpted from dripping filigree
and moss macramé.

Victim of the spell
in Mother’s warning:
“If you frown like that
your face will stay that way,”
the forest’s pose is fixed.
But time has softened the arboreal grimace
muffled the keening of the wind
with hangings of verdant chenille,
knitted blankets, sweaters,
hats and gloves of lime angora
for the slumbering
arms, stumps and claws.

© 2004 – Violet Nesdoly

mossy branch

“…apparitions forever grope, reach, grasp…”

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I live near rainforest. Some of my favorite walks are through woods beside the Fraser River. I’ll never forget the first time I walked the Houston Trail—a loop walk through the most mossy woods I’ve ever seen. It looked like a forest minefield draped in green. The poem above is my memory of that walk.

On Sunday I walked another trail near that one and again moss was everywhere. I wrote the poem some years ago. I took the photos on Sunday.

poetry+friday+button+-+fulllThis poem is part of Poetry Friday, hosted today by Greg at GottaBook

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Nature, Personal, Poetry Friday

 

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